Duties of Personal Representative
The Personal Representative (PR) is the person who oversees payment of the decedent’s debts and distribution of decedent’s assets according to decedent’s will or the intestate statutes. A PR is considered a fiduciary. This means that he or she must observe a high standard of care when dealing with the estate.
- The PR prepares and files with the Probate Court in the county of the decedent’s residence a Petition for Probate of Will (if there is one) and other required accompanying documents, usually with the assistance of an attorney. Legal notice is sent to all interested parties.
- The nominated PR attends a Court hearing, if necessary.
- After being appointed PR, the PR obtains an IRS tax ID number (EIN) for tax reporting purposes of the estate. I can assist you with this if you’d like.
- Using the certified copy of the Letters Testimony (Will) or Letters of General Administration (intestate) the PR opens an estate checking account to deposit all income into the estate and for payment of all bills. The checks used in the account should be returned to you or be available on-line, so that you can use the checks as receipts for the Probate Court when the estate is closed out.
- The checking account should be titled:
The Estate of_______________________, your name, Personal Representative
- Any money or assets from the estate that you receive as PR must be deposited in the estate checking account.
- An inventory of the Estate listing all the assets of the estate must be prepared within 6 (six) months of you being appointed PR and filed with the Court. This is usually done with the assistance of an attorney. All Real Estate must be appraised.
- The PR must determine all genuine debts of the estate and make payment on them, requesting a receipt as each bill is paid.
- After four months have expired since notice was published (required by statute) and the PR is comfortable all debts have been paid and all income or assets have been collected, the Final Account is prepared.
- If the estate earns over $600 or there is the sale of real estate through the estate while the estate is being administered, a 1041 income tax return must be filed. I can provide the names of accountants who can assist you with this.
- The Final Account must be approved by the court. With a Supervised Probate the PR must Petition the court for a Hearing to Allow Final Account, Settle and Distribute Estate. Notice of this Hearing must be sent to interested persons. The Court will issue an Order Distributing the Estate.
- The PR then divides up the estate as set forth in the Order.
- The PR files receipts from all recipients with the Court and the Probate Estate is closed.